28 November 2011

Limpidity and deformity

One quality that’s distinctive among writers of an experimental bent is his limpidity: his prose rarely draws attention to itself; most of the time, the reader is fully occupied imagining what is being recounted and described. Aira has said that the “correctness” of his prose, which he has sometimes rebelled against (as in “How I Became a Nun”), may have been a side effect of his work as a translator. But as anyone who has read him knows, the “correctness” is only syntactic: his sentences are well formed, as the linguists say, but his stories and his books are, well … deformed, swerving wildly, jumping from one kind of fiction to another, as in “The Musical Brain”.

- Chris Andrews talks about his translation of "The Musical Brain" (subscription only) by César Aira, at The New Yorker blog. Read more from the interview here.

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